July 2012 Newsletter

787,824 books distributed to date!

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Bags of Food + Bags of Books = Summertime Solutions!
holy family
Every Monday and Thursday, the Holy Family Food Pantry sponsors Summer Lunch and Summer Backpack programs, attracting more than 180 children each day. Since many children eat breakfast and lunch at school during the school year, the goal is to ensure that children have adequate food to eat throughout the summer. The children come from 11-1, have lunch, and play games with teen volunteers. And many leave with backpacks filled with food and bags of fresh produce. 

New this summer, the children are also leaving with bags of books from Bernie's Book Bank. We're there, every Thursday, handing out books and creating smiles, like those seen on this family of little boys.
Making a Difference for 50,000 Children
14 books letter
Focus on Prevention: More Preschoolers Receiving Books
Did you know that we as a society spend $7 on reading intervention programs for every $1 we spend on prevention programs? That doesn't seem to make much sense. At Bernie's Book Bank, we prefer to focus on prevention, and we do that by distributing books to children aged 0-5 through WIC facilities (WIC: Women Infant Children). Families living in poverty bring their children to WIC facilities twice each year for well baby doctor visits, and each child goes home with a bag of six books.

In July, we added four more WIC facilities in Elgin, Carpentersville and St. Charles, bringing the total to nine WICs, which means that each month, we'll distribute books to another 1,200 preschool aged children. Onward and upward!

In This Issue
A Child's Thanks
More Preschoolers Receiving Books
Birdies & Books Charity Golf Classic
Book Lovers Brunch
A Message from Brian
Our Mission  


Bernie's Book Bank facilitates the collection, processing and redistribution of quality new and gently used children's books to significantly increase BOOK OWNERSHIP among at-risk infants, toddlers and school age children living throughout Chicagoland.


We plan to be distributing 1 MILLION books per year by 2013.


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little boy
Birdies & Books Charity Golf Classic, Friday, September 21, 2012
Birdies & Books

The sound of bagpipes off in the distance. The smell of freshly cut green grass on a crisp fall day. Friends gathered at the first tee like horses before the race, anxious for the competition to begin.


This is the Birdies & Books Charity Golf Classic sponsored by Bernie's Book Bank and you don't want to miss it. Birdies & Books is the best of the best -- fun, competitive play to benefit a great cause and a presentation of the day's winners. 


Birdies & Books will be held on Friday, September 21, 2012 at the Lake Bluff Golf Club. Warm-up and box lunch beginning at 11:30, opening ceremonies at 12:30, shotgun start at 1 pm.


Cost includes greens fees, cart, box lunch, drinks all day, cocktail and awards afterwards. $750 per foursome, $200 per individual.


Foursomes will be limited to ensure quality play. To place an advance reservation, contact Brian at [email protected]Online reservations begin August 1. For details, go to http://www.berniesbookbank.org/about/our-events/.

Join us for the Book Lovers Brunch on Friday, September 21!
brunch picBring your friends together and join us for bloody marys, mimosas, a delicious brunch and a dynamic presentation from Maggie Shipstead, best-selling author of Seating Arrangements, a summertime favorite on the NY Times bestsellers list and Oprah's summer reading list. 


This beautiful brunch will bring together friends, book clubs and book lovers from throughout the Chicagoland area who love reading and want to help create the next generation of readers by supporting Bernie's Book Bank.


The reviews for Seating Arrangements have been outstanding. We are thrilled that Maggie has agreed to donate her time to read from her book, answer questions, and sign copies for our friends in support of Bernie's Book Bank.


Seating Arrangements
Maggie Shipstead

Table reservations begin August 1. Tickets are $100 per person with preferred pricing for advance and table ticket sales. Click here for more details.


Read Reviews of Seating Arrangements


From the Washington Times 


From the New York Times

From Oprah's Summer Reading List 

From Amazon

From Good Reads 


CD and Mrs. Jordan
Catherine Driscoll at the Read With Me Festival with 
Deloris P. Jordan of the James R. Jordan Foundation

Bernie's Book Bank has seen tremendous growth in the past year and on our way to serving every at-risk child in Chicagoland. We've nearly tripled the number of books and children we serve and have developed the organization into a booming non-profit that serves 50,000 children per year, engages literally hundreds of people every month, and is poised to explore expansion to other cities by 2014.


This level of growth and success is the product of an incredible level of dedication and support by literally thousands of folks who continue to believe in our mission. However, I'd like to take this opportunity to highlight the extraordinary work of Catherine Driscoll. Catherine has spent the past 17 months as Managing Director, applying her marketing, communications, and business development skills to growing Bernie's Book Bank by leaps and bounds.


From developing our branding and public relations processes; to developing and managing our communications and marketing campaigns; to creating and implementing the Book Drop Network, Corporate Engagement Strategy, Friends program, and internship program to help our business grow; to managing scores of office volunteers, streamlining office processes and implementing tools and advanced technology, Catherine has made a significant impact on Bernie's Book Bank and has helped us lay a solid foundation for a successful future. Her influence will be felt for many years to come.


Catherine will now be returning her attention to her career in communications consulting. Thank you, Catherine, for your incredible passion and dedication to connecting children needing books with books needing children!


If you'd like to wish Catherine well, send an email to [email protected].


Brian's signature
Brian Floriani
Executive Director
Bernie's Book Bank
847-780 READ (7323)